categoryZGrasses Grasses List 

HAIRY SEDGE

Carex hirta

Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]

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category
category8Grasses
 
status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8brown
male
flower
flower8green
female
petals
petalsZ0
 
type
typeZspiked
 
stem
stem8triangular
curved
stem
stem8hollow
round(ish)
sex
sexZmonoecious
 

30th June 2016, sand heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 70cm high, here beside water. It can have 2 to 3 male spikelets at the tip, here fawn and brown.
Plus several erect female spikelets, here pale-green-yellow..


30th June 2016, sand heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
Apparently Hairy Sedge is the only Carex species to possess both leaves and sheaths!. Near water Hairy Sedge grows less hairy than those specimens in drier places.


30th June 2016, sand heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD


30th June 2016, sand heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
The stems are bluntly 3-angled. The leaves are either flat or keeled.


30th June 2016, sand heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
A male spike.


30th June 2016, sand heath, Freshfield, Sefton Coast. Photo: © RWD
There are 3 long (here now brown) stigmas at the top of each fruit (some species of carex have but 2 stigmas, this species has 3, as do many others).

There are more hairs on the fruit than on the stem in this wettish-habitat Hairy Sedge. The shape of the fruit is one of the features that helps identify sedges, on Hairy Sedge they are between 5 to 7mm long, ovoidal, ribbed (hmmm...?), green, hairy, with a rough and forked and hairy beak which is 2mm long.

Near the bottom of this inflorescence you may find a long awn which again tapers to an even longer thin spike.



15th May 2008, unknown place Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The underrground rhizomes creep beneath the earth.

Here you see both green leaves and sheaths together; Hairy Sedge being the only sedge to have both.



15th May 2008, unknown place Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
The anthers (here browned) are very long in comparison to their width. Most are twisted but that may just be because they have gone dried in turning brown? Their white filaments holding on to them at one end are long and very narrow [Your Author wonders if all Carex sedges have filaments which attach to the anther at one end - or if some species attach to the middle of the anther?]

A translucent-white sheath is to be seen right at the bottom of the photo.



15th May 2008, unknown place Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
You can espie the glume at the bottom with a long narrow taper at the tip. And the three long thin(now brown) stigmas emerging from the tips of the fruits.


15th May 2008, unknown place Photo: (CC by 2.0) Geoff Toone
This is a more hairy specimen more in keeping with the plants' name so it must have been growing in a drier area than the specimen from the Sefton Coast.


Hybridizes with :

  • Bladder Sedge (Carex vesicaria) (which is in a differing sub-genus!!) )to produce Carex × grossii which was found on a dune-slack in County Wicklow between 1944 to the 1960's.


  Carex hirta  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Cyperaceae  

Distribution
 family8Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush family8Cyperaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Carex
Carex
(Sedge)

HAIRY SEDGE

Carex hirta

Sedge Club- & Spike-Rush Family [Cyperaceae]